There aren’t many countries that can give South Africa a run for it’s money when it comes to loving off-road vehicles and 4x4s. Bakkies and 4x4s make up a massive bulk of our purchased vehicles annually, and brands know that broadening the variety of vehicles in that segment is never a bad idea.
Taking standard bakkies and giving them some more robust off-road treatment with some added cosmetic features is turning out to be a tried and true recipe, not just on home soil, but also in other markets such as the United States and Australia. Toyota is following suit from other manufacturers, giving its highly popular Hilux a bit of a bolstering with the ‘Rugged X’ edition, recently announced for release in Australia.
Beyond some obvious aesthetic features like an engine snorkel and more hefty front bumper, the Australian release is going to use a 2.8 litre inline 4-cylinder engine that produces around 130kW (175 hp) and close to 450nm of torque. These are pretty impressive stats considering it isn’t the biggest frame to have to move, so it’s performance in unforgiving terrain should be impressive.
While these stats are tied to the Australian release, there hasn’t been any details released regarding a similar model coming to South Africa as of yet. Considering the similarities between the popularity of 4x4s and utility vehicles Down Under compared to South Africa, though, there’s a good chance Toyota will see our market as a worthwhile consideration.
If any details do pop up about an imminent release over here, we’ll keep you up to date! The big question is, can this Hilux go toe-to-toe with the other competitors in its segment?